By Anne Field
Excerpted from Forbes
Homero Coss, 23, moved with his family from a border town in Mexico to Texas when he was just three. Growing up in Laredo, he decided he wanted to become an osteopath. But, like other Dreamers, he didn’t have access to Pell Grants or federal student loans to attend college, much less medical school.
Coss ended up winning a scholarship from a program for immigrant youth called TheDream.US to attend the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. But medical school still seemed out of reach. So he returned home, teaching science in his hometown, figuring he’d work and somehow save money for tuition.
A year-and-a-half later, he got some good news: TheDream.US was piloting a new initiative called the Dreamers Graduate Loan Program. Was he interested? As soon as he could, Coss applied and got a loan covering his tuition at a low interest rate. He’s now in his first year of medical school at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. “Every day I wake up and I can’t believe I’m here,” says Coss, who’s the first person in his family to attend graduate school.
Coss is benefitting from a recently-launched $100 million graduate school loan program for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who want to pursue professional degrees, but can’t access public loan programs thanks to their immigration status.
Photo: Homero Coss, a Dreamers Graduate Loan Recipient. Credit: Homero Coss